What Parents Can Do

Published February 1, 1998

Good Housekeeping recommends that parents take the following steps when they have concerns about their child’s teacher.

1. Go see for yourself: Get to know your child’s teacher as well as you can.

2. Keep written records: Record all of your observations of the teacher to show to officials later.

3. Talk to the teacher first: Address your concerns with the teacher first, unless the situation is an emergency that requires the principal or the police.

4. Take it to the principal: If there’s no improvement, go to the principal with your written observations and any other tangible evidence.

5. Copy the school board: If there’s still no improvement, write to the principal about your concerns, copying the superintendent and school board members.

6. Don’t worry about retribution: If your child is singled out for unfair treatment, that’s strong evidence against the teacher. Demand an immediate transfer.

7. Last resort: Go public: Speak up at school board meetings, talk to the newspapers, talk to other parents.